Latest Digital Health Update

Dan Munro, healthcare innovation writer for Forbes, recently shared Samsung’s “Voice of the Body” launch event which promises the electronics giant will be leaving a much larger footprint in the digital health space (see @Forbes @danmunro Samsung Trumps Apple With Digital Health Announcement Again). According to Munro, this was the second digital health driven event hosted by Samsung in 14 months, and with strategic timing too, as Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference (#WWDC2014) kicks off next week. In addition to discussion on sensors, cloud storage of sensor-captured data, and the open reference design of their Simband platform, Samsung is putting forward a Digital Health Challenge:

The Samsung Digital Health Challenge is an ongoing opportunity to access a pool of $50 million in investments from the Samsung Catalyst Fund. The goal of the Challenge is to stimulate innovation surrounding the delivery of wellness-related insight through the use of highly accurate, non-invasive sensors working in conjunction with advanced algorithms. SSIC here.

Much of this appears to be direct-to-consumer technology for the already engaged patient to become even more engaged in optimal health, at least at the moment. What Ram Fish, Samsung’s VP of Digital Health, envisions according to a short video on their site (see Simband Open Reference Model), is unlimited capability of their open Simband platform–where anyone can create sensors that talk to a larger system. All of this further reinforces the SXSW health focus on wearable technology earlier this year (see Top 10 Takeaways from SXSW 2014: Part One).

On the flip side–how will this help consumers/patients who are already left behind? How can manufacturing giants like Samsung put this wearable technology on the wrists and hips of the frequent flyers in Emergency Departments across the US to keep them healthy and at home? How can this technology be used to prevent readmissions of congestive heart failure patients? These are at least two questions that, if Samsung or others can provide a solution to, will drastically and positively affect healthcare costs. A TOMS 1-for-1 strategy comes to mind…

The following short marketing video gives a quick glimpse into Samsung’s Voice of the Body. As an avid Apple fan, I can’t help but be intrigued, even in light of my failed user-experience with the Samsung S4 phone.

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